Some seek to curb parking in Laurel Woods roundabout

RVs, trailers unsightly, residents complain


April 20, 2003|By Jennifer Blenner | Jennifer Blenner,SUN STAFF

Several residents of the Laurel Woods community are frustrated as recreational vehicles continue to clog their street.

Holly Wreath Court, a county road in Laurel Woods, is jam-packed with trailers, pop-up campers and boats.

"People are using it as a dumping ground," said resident Angela Tripp. "It portrays an image you don't want your neighbor to portray."

Tripp said she has complained to the homeowners association, the Sheriff's Office and the local councilwoman but has kept hitting roadblocks.

"I got frustrated because everyone wants to pass the buck," she said, "And it becomes, `Whose problem is it?'"

Robert Stroup, vice president of the Singer Woods Homeowners Association, said the association has received more than two dozen complaints about boats and trailers parking in the roundabout.

This has been an issue, he said, since he moved into the neighborhood two years ago. "Every meeting the issue is brought up," Stroup said.

"The association can't do anything because it is a county road," he said, adding that the association has jurisdiction only over the roads in the courts. But "right now, I have accepted it," he said.

No violations

Ginger Rigney, spokeswoman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said, "It has not been a law enforcement issue because it is not against the law to park on a county road."

Cars that are legally tagged, do not impede traffic and do not pose a safety concern do not violate any law, she said. Currently, there are no laws preventing recreational vehicles with legal license plates from parking on county roads.

"We can only enforce the law," Rigney added. "If there are no laws, there is nothing to enforce."

"People know Harford County doesn't have a law, and they take advantage of it," said resident Kelly Warren.

The boats look awful, she said. One boat has an out-of-state license plate.

`Devalues our property'

"It doesn't seem like they are from the area," Warren said. "I think it devalues our property."

People don't like the recreational vehicles there, but legally there is nothing the county can do, said Cheryl Banigan, chief of traffic and transportation planning for the Harford County Department of Public Works.

Banigan said that unless vehicles are blocking intersection sight distance or vehicles are not registered, the Department of Public Works can't do anything.

In the Laurel Woods complex, Banigan said, she has received a few complaints in the past four years. On each complaint, an inspection was conducted in the area, but no vehicles were found to block intersection sight distance and all vehicles were legally registered, she said.

Veronica "Roni" L. Chenowith, councilwoman from District B in Harford County, said in the past nine years she has received only two complaints and hasn't been able to do anything about the problem.

`All junked up'

"I know it is frustrating to people," Chenowith said. "People should be allowed to have enjoyment in their community and streets without it being all junked up."

In order to have an ordinance, there needs to be justification, she said. "Justification is one of the biggest things - does it impede on the delivery of emergency services and the delivery of mail?" she said. "Thus far, both say there is not a problem."

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